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Best Gaming CPU: $150-$200

Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: September 2010

Best Gaming CPU for $165:  None

Honorable Mention:
Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition  (Check Prices)

Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
Codename: Deneb
Process: 45 nm
CPU Cores: 4
Clock Speed:   3.4 GHz
Socket: AM3
L1 Cache:   4 x 128 KB
L2 Cache:   4 x 512 KB
L3 Cache: 6 MB
HyperTransport: 4000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
125 W

While the Phenom II X4 955 and 965 both share an unlocked multiplier, the 965 sports a 200 MHz higher stock clock speed. There's a good chance that AMD's binning process will designate the CPUs with the best overclocking potential as the top-of-the-line Phenom II X4 965, so overclockers may want to put that extra $25 toward the higher-end model. Folks who don't overclock probably won't notice any difference, however. In addition, overclocking enthusiasts might want to consider spending the extra money for a Core i5-750 once they've reached this price range.

Read our review of the new Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition, right here.

Best Gaming CPU for $190:

Core i5-750 (Check Prices)

Core i5-750
Codename: Lynnfield
Process: 45 nm
CPU Cores: 4
Clock Speed (Max. Turbo): 2.66 GHz  (3.2 GHz)
Socket: LGA 1156
L2 Cache: 4 x 256 KB
L3 Cache:   8 MB
Thermal Envelope:
  95 W

The Lynnfield-based Core i5 has been a price/performance favorite since its introduction. This CPU provides solid out-of-the-box performance combined with fantastic overclocking potential, traits that won it our Recommended Buy honor.

Read our review of the Core i5-750, right here.

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